The Fashionably Late Top 125 of 2019: Lower Dens

Another rough year corresponded to another bumper crop of excellent music. Once again, my list is huge, because I fell in love with each of these 125 records and found it impossible to not include all of them in my fashionably late list.

I'm choosing to post my favorites in alpha order from A-Z again this year. You'll probably find some records that everyone and their fifth cousin raved about, but I hope you'll also find a few records that might be new to you, and that you'll fall in love with them as much as I have.

My thanks, as always, to the artists who created these records.


Who: Lower Dens

What: The Competition

When: September 2019

Where: Ribbon Music

Why: It's probably not an accident that the cover of The Competition resembles the artwork from the 1927 film Metropolis. After all, the fourth Lower Dens record draws inspiration from "modern capitalism and its psychotic effects," and the cult flick has a similar plotline. Jana Hunter's Baltimore brainchild has also been known to be quite cinematic, perhaps more than ever in this clutch of opulently glossy pop songs that feels both decadent and devastating. Sumptuous sinews abound, and the sonic Hollywood Regency extravagance feels right at home in this time of late stage capitalism. The luscious barbs of "Young Republicans," gloriously golden, tormented slink of "I Drive," and the haunted luxe of "Simple Life" are standouts, but the entire record is truly divine.

[posted 3.31.20]


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